Short Assignment II

Research Methods and Design I -Confound It All!

This assignment is associated with your Chapter 6 (Smith and Davis) material.

Instructions:

This assignment includes four short scenarios. For each scenario:

**A) Identify**:

the independent

the levels of the independent variable

the dependent variable

the confound (s)

**B)** **Specify** how you might fix the confound (s)

Identifying Confounds

A. A researcher conducts a study to compare the effectiveness of different treatments for generalized anxiety disorder. Each participant receives behavioral therapy for two months, then cognitive therapy for two months, and finally cognitive-behavioral therapy for two months. At the end of each two-month period, a different therapist rates each participant’s levels of generalized anxiety disorder. The results showed that cognitive-behavioral therapy was the most effective, followed by cognitive therapy, followed by behavioral therapy.

What is the independent variable?

How many levels are there for the independent variable?

What is the dependent variable?

What is the confound?

What confounds did you identify and how might the confounds be fixed?

B. A researcher conducts a study to determine whether smiling affects students’ interest in the course material. In her 8am Physiological Psychology course, she never smiles while teaching. In her 9am Physiological Psychology course, she smiles often while teaching. At the end of the semester, she gives students a questionnaire to assess the extent to which students liked the course material. The results showed that the 9am class liked the course material more than the 8am class.

What is the independent variable?

How many levels are there for the independent variable?

What is the dependent variable?

What is the confound?

What confounds did you identify and how might the confounds be fixed?

C. A researcher is interested in the effects of cocaine on learning. A group of rats is randomly assigned to receive either cocaine or a non-harmful saline solution. The rats are taught how to run a maze. The cocaine rats need to be reared away from the control group rats, so they are handled and taught by one experimenter, and the control group rats are handled and taught by another experimenter. The results showed that the control group rats learned how to run the maze more quickly than the cocaine rats.

What is the independent variable?

How many levels are there for the independent variable?

What is the dependent variable?

What is the confound?

What confounds did you identify and how might the confounds be fixed?

D**. **Researchers were interested in examining whether writing or drawing about past emotional experiences would relieve anxiety. Female college students either wrote about emotional topics for an hour, wrote about non-emotional topics for an hour, or drew pictures about emotional topics for thirty minutes. Anxiety and stress were measured using standard questionnaires.

What is the independent variable?

How many levels are there for the independent variable?

What is the dependent variable?

What is the confound?

What confounds did you identify and how might the confounds be fixed?